October 13, 2007
Game 1 of the National League Championship was still very fresh on everyone’s mind when the gates to Chase Field opened for Game 2. The Diamondbacks fans were still steaming over the questionable call by Larry “the lizard” Vanover on the slide by Justin Upton. No one is arguing that Upton was out, he clearly was. The frustrating part remains that Vanover made a judgment call that Upton’s intent was to take out the player. I challenge Larry “the lizard” to find me one base runner going from first base to second base who is not intent on breaking up the double play. Normally the umpire whips out Major League Baseball Rules 7.09 (e) and 7.09 (f) when a base runner goes out of his way not going near the base to take out the runner. The problem with this call was that Upton was on the bag when the call was made. It makes you wonder what Larry “the lizard” was daydreaming about when he made that call. That play was just a minor part of the conversation though. The majority of news outlets chose instead to dwell on the few fans that tested their pitching prowess by throwing debris onto the field.
Continue reading ‘The Long Dark Night’ »
October 12, 2007
Yesterday I wrote about the dream of being in the National League Championship Series; what I should have said was that it was more of a nightmare. The most troubling part was that the nightmare was not so much about the Diamondbacks losing 5-1 but rather the events that took place in the seventh inning of the game. The bottom half of the seventh inning of this game may just turn out to be the defining moment of this series and could become the “Big Bang” origin of true baseball fans in Arizona. In the ten years of being an Arizona Diamondbacks fan I have never seen events like I saw during that half inning. It all started innocently enough.
Continue reading ‘Like a Freaking Nightmare’ »
October 11, 2007
It’s 4 AM; I have been tossing and turning for two hours and have finally realized that I am just not going to be able to sleep. You would have thought that I would have crashed right out after not getting to bed until nearly 1 AM but that just has not been the case. My head is filled with thoughts and excitement over the events that will take place in approximately 13 hours. I have been waiting since 2001 for the Arizona Diamondbacks to return to the National League Championship Series and that day has finally arrived. I still remember how excited I was when the 2001 team made it this far. It was like a dream watching Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling dominate the Atlanta Braves taking that series in 5 games and setting up one of the greatest World Series in history. This is definitely not the 2001 team though I am still dreaming.
Continue reading ‘Somebody Pinch Me’ »
October 10, 2007
Before each round of the play-offs teams are allowed to adjust their active roster. I wrote about this on October 2 and gave my predictions of what I thought Bob Melvin and Josh Byrnes would do. In a short 5 game series I thought it would be best for the Diamondbacks to carry an extra position player rather than a pitcher. I also expressed that in a 7 game series that might not make sense and therefore could be changed to eliminate one roster spot for a position player to bolster the bullpen. With the Diamondbacks making it out of the first round and into the NLCS, they have the opportunity to re-assess their roster and make changes to it. The finalized roster is due to Major League Baseball by 10 AM tomorrow. My predictions of who I would put on the roster for the first round were fairly close to what the Diamondbacks actually did. I had a disagreement on two players. I had chosen Brandon Medders over Dustin Nippert in the bullpen and I had selected Carlos Quentin over Robby Hammock for position players. What changes would I make (if any) for this round of the play-offs?
Continue reading ‘Resetting the Roster’ »
October 9, 2007
Sunday September 16 seemed like an ordinary day by all accounts. The Arizona Diamondbacks were in Los Angeles playing the Dodgers. The Diamondbacks had been struggling as always against the Dodgers and had dropped the first two games of the series. The Dodgers were breathing down the Diamondbacks neck in the standings and it looked plausible that Los Angeles or San Diego could overtake Arizona. Northeast of Los Angeles the Colorado Rockies were playing host to the Florida Marlins. Like the Diamondbacks the Rockies too were struggling in their series having lost the first two games to the scrappy Marlins. I don’t think anyone could have imagined that on this fall Sunday afternoon two franchises would take a step forward that would lead them to meet in the play-offs for the right to represent the National League in the World Series.
Continue reading ‘Rest and Relaxation’ »
October 8, 2007
The National League Championship Series is set with the Arizona Diamondbacks hosting the Colorado Rockies beginning on Thursday. The American League Championship Series had one team identified when the Boston Red Sox swept the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in California. The remaining entry into the ALCS was still yet to be decided. The Cleveland Indians who were the American League Central Division champion played host to the New York Yankees. In the first two games of that series the Indians pretty much had their way with the Yankees. Alex Rodriguez continued to struggle in the post season during the first two games hitting a paltry .200 through the first 3 games. Sadly, that batting average was in the middle of the pack of Yankee hitters which is why going into Game 4 the Yankees were in a must win situation or their season was over. As if that were not enough pressure on this star-studded team Yankees owner George Steinbrenner decided to up the ante a little.
Continue reading ‘Play-offs American League Style’ »
October 7, 2007
So far in the post season the Arizona Diamondbacks have gotten very little respect from the baseball establishment. They have been cast as the underdogs and the talking heads have all fervently stated that the Diamondbacks have no right to be in the position they are in. They are too young and do not have the offense to be successful in the play-offs. The answer to these critics was a three game sweep of the Chicago Cubs and a berth in the National League Championship Series. The only question remained was who would be their next opponent. The answer to that question appeared a few short hours after the Diamondbacks had beaten the Chicago Cubs. A mile above sea level another underdog team demolished the most prolific offense in the National League to earn a spot in the NLCS. That underdog team was the Colorado Rockies who with their latest win stretched their record to 17-1 over the past 3 weeks. So in a strange twist of fate the Arizona Diamondbacks would play host to the Colorado Rockies in a seven game series to determine who will represent the National League in the World Series.
Continue reading ‘Oh, No, Not the Rockies’ »
October 6, 2007
The pitching match-up for game 3 of the National League Divisional Series definitely favored the Chicago Cubs. It’s not that I had no confidence in Livan Hernandez. No wait, it is that I had no confidence in Livan Hernandez. Livan Hernandez is like the Diamondbacks personal Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. You never quite know what you are going to get from a Livo outing on the mound. Will it be the guy who was the most valuable player from the 1997 Florida Marlins World Series team or will it be the guy that couldn’t find the strike zone with a GPS? Lately it has been more of the latter than the former and that scared me just a little. My theory was that the Diamondbacks would need to score early and score often if they hoped to have any chance at winning this game.
Continue reading ‘Taming the Friendly Confines’ »
October 5, 2007
I never quite could understand the scheduling of the baseball play-offs. How is it that teams are expected to play a full month of baseball during the regular season with perhaps two or three days off for the entire month yet when the post season comes there must be a travel day between cities to give the players a rest? When a team has the momentum like the Diamondbacks do, about the last thing they want to do is have an off day. I’m sure most of these guys would much prefer getting back on the field to try and finish this series out. As you can probably surmise I am not much of a fan of the travel day. I’m not much of a fan of any day that doesn’t have a Diamondbacks game scheduled. I’m probably one of the few people in America that think 162 games in a season is too short. It’s not that I don’t believe the players deserve a day off, I think everyone is entitled to a day of rest. But there are 25 guys on the roster so you almost have enough players for three teams. Just give some of the other guys a chance to play. From the looks of the Chicago Cubs during the first two games of this series it might not be such a bad idea to let someone else play since the starters from Game 1 and Game 2 didn’t do much.
Continue reading ‘Travelling Day’ »